Posted on November 28, 2012 at 8:17 AM
Wednesday, Nov 28 at 8:21 AM
AUSTIN -- A plan is underway to clear four Austin creeks which aren't meeting state water quality standards.
Environmentalists recently uncovered high bacteria levels in Waller Creek, Walnut Creek, the Spicewood tributary to Shoal Creek and Taylor Slough South.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is warning people to stay out of those water ways.
The TCEQ is hosting an open meeting Wednesday evening. The agency is seeking to form a group of citizen stakeholders who will help develop the plan to reduce bacteria levels in the water.
Experts blame wildlife and pet droppings, along with small waste water plant leaks, for the rise in those bacteria levels.
“People bring their dogs here to play, which is great, but they forget to clean up after their dogs,” said Austinite Aubrey Carter.
The City of Austin is already taking steps toward maintaining the watersheds.
“It's a protective standard and when we have all of these mixes of sources in these urban environments, it's not surprising that we have some problems,” said Chris Herrington of the city’s Watershed Protection Department.